Trump Finale

Pre-script: this post was written a week before it was posted, so does not include recent developments such as Trump’s Supreme Court appointment or travel ban. I have not posted this on Facebook as I think everyone’s Trumped-out.

The Good

Donald Trump says what he thinks.

I like that he blatantly states, sitting within feet of three previous Presidents, that during their administrations, they watched their country go down the drain.

I like the anti-establishment tone, right wing or not. And I like that he talks like regular people. I like that his policy ideas are ideas, from the sofas and arm chairs from all across America.

He might be a demagogue but he also appears to be sympathetic, like no one else, to the problems, pains and issues of regular people. He repeats what those people are saying, he says what they’re thinking and as I write he’s putting it into policy.

He is inclusive of a long ignored class of people and this is massively important.

Government and establishment circles are always, always full of premium educated, middle to upper class people that come from families with means. All around is evident the power structure.

From local to federal government, educational institutions, think tanks, charities, international organisations, WTO, the UN – they are all controlled by the top 10% of this world. The middle and upper classes of the first world nations. It’s a conspiracy! I should know, because I’m (sort of) one of them. Whoever dreamed up the global Jewish conspiracy, missed the point.

This institutional elitism impacts our democracy in far reaching and imperceptible ways – the greatest power is the power you do not see.

Brexit and Trump are basically revolts among regular working people who are sick of struggling, sick of being told their racist because they have some issue with mass immigration and tired of seeing their jobs disappear and being replaced with WalMarts.

That’s what the establishment middle-upper class gets when it ignores the people – it gets Trump, and it deserves Trump.

People tend to cry foul, when someone or something drastic enters history. Revolutions – the French, Russian and Cuban for instance – were harsh reactions to a set of bad circumstances that the establishment allowed to linger on far too long. Then they complain the revolution was extreme or barbaric. Well maybe it was, but why didn’t you do something, to avoid the circumstances that made such a revolution necessary?!

I can’t help but listen when I hear people like Trump or Bernie Saunders talk. I admit Trump talks a lot of shit. But he does talk a certain level of revolution, of turning the system on its head. And Bernie, although ideologically different, talks a similar sort of story. And for everyone that has lost with the present system, I can’t help to have sympathy for game changers like Saunders and Trump.

Certainly, for what Trump says about for reinvigorating American industry and making real jobs in a real economy I say, ‘yeah, if you can do as you say you’re going to do, than go ahead and do it’.

And that is my instinct with Trump. I like what he says his going to do in many respects. I like that he’s going to make working America great again. Even if he fails at least that was his aim. Because a will to help, the most disenfranchised people in your society – not with handouts or welfare but by creating work with a purpose – is a very beautiful thing.

The Bad

But its not all beauty and roses, of course.

In his willingness to speak to the regular working people of America, he says things that could get him, the US and therefore the world into a lot of trouble. He appears to, as Hillary Clinton said, be able to be ‘bated by a tweet’. He also appears to have a very brittle ego that is easily upset.

It concerns me a great deal to know that such a man is in charge of the US military, including nuclear weapons. It is possible that much of his behaviour during the campaign that gives me reason to be concerned was simply done for the campaign, but its hard to know.

Certainly Trump told some pretty big whoppers during the campaign. If not downright lies or just flagrant untruths.

Given that kind of record it seems the chances for impeachment are pretty high. He need only make the mistake of believing he can lie to other branches and institutions of government. Once again, possibly his habit of being loose with the truth was for the benefit of the campaign. Or maybe it’s a lifelong habit (or maybe business skill) of saying things, anything, with so much sheer confidence, that the truth of the matter is irrelevant.

The way you see Trump probably depends on if you’re left or right.

If you are left wing or even centre politically speaking it doesn’t seem Trump will be good for you. But nor would any Republican President. Despite being socially liberal in the past Trump has moved to the right on a number of issues such as abortion, same sex marriage and gun laws. He has at the least suggested he would appoint Supreme Court Justices sympathetic to right wing positions on these issues.

This is a concern for me and for anyone that considers themselves progressive, left or centre-left.

The Ugly

If you care much for the dominance of the Western world and its values, Trump may be bad. I think history may just look back at Trump as the beginning of the end of the political influence of the West.

Just last week we saw China’s President, Xi Jinping, standing up at the World Economic Summit in Davos defending globalisation and the economic status quo. This status quo having been established by the Western powers, led by the US, after WWII. What I think we witnessed there was China taking the very first tentative steps in being a world leader in the absence of American leadership!

Trump’s response to the charge he was abandoning the world system and thereby abandoning Western power, would likely be that the world system and trading relationships are a bad deal for America.

Well maybe. But when Trump says ‘America’s going to be number one’ in all his decisions, you have to ask what has the US been doing in the past? Busy not putting themselves first?! It’s kind of hard to believe. Possibly busy putting certain American’s first, and not the majority.

Helping others increases your standing. Being the guy that looks out for the group makes you its leader! This is what I believed the US had been doing since the end of WWII and it has benefited from it. For example, the US significantly rebuilt Europe after WWII and then benefited from an economically strong Europe that could buy US goods. Hopefully, for the US, this is not completely lost on Trump.

In any case, it doesn’t look good that the US appears to be abandoning the institutions that underpin the world economic system and Western power. If Trump withdrawals from the rest of the world, it will certainly be bad for the rest of the West. The power vacuum will simply be filled by China or some other nation(s). Personally, I’m not that keen on a country like China being the world’s major political power.

Conclusion

Personally I like Trump’s anti-establishment stance, his willingness to voice the people’s concerns, to speak truth to power and his wish to really get to grips with the inequalities created by globalism. But I have to also take seriously concerns about his aggressive rhetoric, his right wing politics (be they posturing or not) and the potential harm he may do to minority rights, progressive politics and the environment.

I think this quote from Bernie Saunders about Trump sums it up nicely. Had I seen this quote earlier, I probably wouldn’t have needed to write this blog post! Here it is:

“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media.  People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer.

“To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”

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